Thursday, April 19, 2012

Nibbled to death by ducks

The broadcast networks are worried. According to this article in the New York Times, it seems that viewers are disappearing rather than just shifting from network to network as they have in the past.

Competition changes over time. It's not always the big guy across the street who you have to worry about.

ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox have hundreds of direct competitors in the cable networks and on-demand viewing options as well as the added complexity that DVRs throw into the equation.

They are also competing with websites, smartphone apps, game consoles, books, kids activities and more. Unlike most businesses the networks don't want money from us, they want time, and there is almost unlimited competition in that space.

The networks' most difficult competitor may not be their direct competitor.

The same is true with just about every business.

Ford competes directly with Chevy, Nissan, Toyota, Chrysler and other manufacturers to sell new cars, but given that over 50% of the people in this country will never buy a new car, it could be argued that used cars are part of the competitive set.

Democrats compete with republicans for votes. But in most cases voter turn out is well below fifty percent. So the biggest competition might actually be apathy.

If you spend too much time studying "the competition," you may miss the real things that stand in the way of your success.

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